Functions, style, size, brand and budget are just a few factors to consider before investing in a luxury or designer watch. With so many timepieces to think about, basic decisions on which material to choose can become overwhelming.
Recent reports show a rising popularity in both titanium and gold timepieces, so we’ve looked at the benefits of each material. Which do you prefer: robust titanium, or elegant gold?
The properties of titanium are not as widely known to buyers as other materials used in watchmaking, but a number of manufacturers are putting its benefits to good use – a recent feature by WatchPro suggests that titanium watches have gone from “niche novelties to some of the bestsellers for UK watch retailers.” A more affordable option than steel or gold, titanium is lightweight but very strong – which is perfect for oversize models, such as U-Boat watches, or those with many complications. Using titanium allows sportier brands like Citizen and Tissot to lower the overall weight of the timepieces.
Emma Field of U-Boat‘s UK distributor Rockwell told WatchPro that the brand’s use of the titanium is “largely due to the weight factor, but also the versatility of the metal, which includes its durability and strength compared to other light metals such as aluminium.”
While titanium is making waves in the watch industry, reports show that the demand for a classic gold watch is still very high.
It’s no secret that the recession has impacted sales of gold jewellery but – perhaps surprisingly – gold watches have not suffered in the same way, with figures showing a marked increase in popularity. WatchPro quotes Swiss watch export figures that show a 30% uplift in the number of gold watches being sent out, accounting for half the total 19.2% increase on total export growth in October 2011.
Watchmakers have used gold since the earliest development of timepieces, as it was discovered that a gold case complemented the quality of movement. Gold is long-lasting and resists tarnishing, and over time has remained to be a symbol of luxury. While some consumers may have moved away from the obvious extravagance, many others still remain faithful to the elegance of gold.
Zahra Kassim-Lakha, UK brand director and head of global strategy at Jaeger-LeCoultre told WatchPro that sales of gold watches are still very strong, saying: “In these times of austerity, wearing a timepiece that exudes real value, heritage and timelessness is essential.”